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Kerala teacher held for murder of woman colleague who spurned him

Police said during investigation they found that the victim had been threatened by a colleague and she reportedly told some of her relatives about this.

south Updated: Jan 25, 2020 10:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
The body of Roopashree (46), a teacher of the Vani Vijaya Higher Secondary School, was found on a beach on January 18, two days after she was reported missing.
The body of Roopashree (46), a teacher of the Vani Vijaya Higher Secondary School, was found on a beach on January 18, two days after she was reported missing.

The Kerala police on Friday claimed to have cracked the murder of a school teacher whose body was found on a beach in Kasasrgode in north Kerala last week with the arrest of her colleague and his driver.

The two were arrested after a forensic evaluation confirmed their role in the murder, police said.

The body of Roopashree (46), a teacher of the Vani Vijaya Higher Secondary School, was found on a beach on January 18, two days after she was reported missing. Initially it was suspected to be a suicide but later family members, including her husband, sought a detailed inquiry suspecting foul play.

Police said during investigation they found that the victim had been threatened by a colleague and she reportedly told some of her relatives about this. Initially police questioned her colleague Venkita Ramana but let him off after they failed to notice any inconsistency in his statements. Police later recovered Roopashree’s mobile and inspected all calls she made and received and found that on the fateful day she had received some calls from Ramana.

A forensic team later recovered the victim’s hair Ramana’s car. The accused broke down after sustained interrogation and admitted committing the crime. Both had developed a relationship in school and but the victim was not ready to continue it for long and this enraged Ramana, a bachelor. Police said the accused allegedly killed the victim brutally in his home by forcing her head down in a bucket of water. Later he had shaved off her head to in a bid to destroy her identity, police said.

Police said later he sought the help of his driver Niranjan to dispose the body in sea. He then spread the word that Roopashree was suffering from mental ailment and she might have committed suicide.

“It seems to be a well-planned murder. We have to find out if more persons were involved,” said Kasaragod’s Superintendent of Police James Joseph.